Category: Contest

Contest: Shallow Waters Flash Fiction May 2024 Contest

Deadline: May 31st, 2024
Prizes: Winner: 3 cents per word, second place: 2 cents per word, 3rd place: 1 cent per word.
Theme: This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stephen King’s tale of teenage retribution, Carrie. To commemorate this momentous milestone, this month’s theme is “Coming of Rage.

As one of the winners of last month’s contest, Philip Harris has agreed to host this month. Here’s the theme:

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stephen King’s tale of teenage retribution, Carrie. To commemorate this momentous milestone, this month’s theme is “Coming of Rage.”

Show us what happens when the thin veneer of humanity shatters. We want to see your tales of anger, of vengeance, of ordinary people driven to extremes and the carnage they leave behind. Stories of teenage angst written in blood, of murderous retirement home feuds, of parents who just can’t face listening to that song again!”


Contest: Weird Wide Web 2024 Fiction Competition

Deadline: June 1st, 2024
Theme: Dark speculative prose
Note: Reprints allowed





Each winning story will be featured on Weird Wide Web with its own direct URL link.

What We Are Looking For:

Fiction between 1K – 4K words in the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres.


This is a great place for REPRINTS. Unpublished stories are fine, but REPRINTS ARE WELCOME. Just send your best!



Contest: Imagine 2200: Write the future

Deadline: June 24th, 2024
Prizes: First place: $3,000, Second place: $2,000, and Third place: $1,000
Theme: Near-future to 2200 stories that are rooted in creative climate solutions and community-centered resilience, showing what can happen as solutions take root, and stories that offer gripping plots with rich characters and settings, making that future come alive.

Grist is excited to open submissions for the fourth year of our Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors short story contest.

Imagine 2200 celebrates stories that envision the next decades to centuries of equitable climate progress, imagining futures of abundance, adaptation, reform, and hope. We are looking for stories that are rooted in creative climate solutions and community-centered resilience, showing what can happen as solutions take root, and stories that offer gripping plots with rich characters and settings, making that future come alive.

In 2,500 to 5,000 words, show us the world you dream of building.

Your story should be set sometime between the near future and roughly the year 2200.

A great Imagine story is not afraid to explore the challenges ahead – the path to climate progress will involve struggle and adaptation, and we invite you to show that – but ultimately offers hope that we can work together to build a more sustainable and just world. We want to see stories that incorporate real world climate solutions and climate science, as well as cultural authenticity (a deep sense of place, customs, cuisine, and more) and characters with fully-fledged identities. We especially want to read – and share – stories that center solutions and voices from the communities most impacted by the climate crisis.

If you’re newer to climate or climate fiction, check out our FAQs page for some resources to get you started in finding inspiration from existing solutions, and some past Imagine stories to look to for examples. Feel free to use these as a jumping off point, or to bring in any climate and justice solutions you find inspiring.

Your story can bring these principles into any genre – we love seeing climate themes show up in love stories, mysteries, adventure, comedy, and more. Climate connects to every part of life, and all sorts of stories can be climate stories, so dream big — envision a world where climate solutions have flourished, and where we prioritize our well-being, work to mend our communities, and lead lives that celebrate our humanity. We can’t wait to read what you come up with.


Contest: Shallow Waters’ May Flash Fiction Window

Deadline: May 31st, 2023
Payment: 3 cents per word for the winner, 2 cents per word for second place, and 1 cent per word for third place
Theme: Red

The theme for next month’s flash contest is…

“RED! The colour of blood, and love, and danger. Flashing lights, glowing eyes, cooking flesh; the blinding hue of rage, the windswept locks of a Celtic warrior princess. Give us something red – serve us something raw and dripping, a fresh cut that only you can deliver.” This theme is courtesy of last month’s winner, Matthew R. Davis, who will also read all the submissions and pick the finalists.


Contest: The Drabble Harvest Contest

Deadline: June 30th, 2023
Prizes: $5 for first place, $2 for second place, all others accepted are $1 per drabble
Theme: A drabble with the idea of: Space Station Duty-Free

A “drabble” is defined as a short story containing exactly precisely no more and no fewer than 100 words. It has a title, which can be from 1 to 15 words– but no more than 15. That’s a drabble.

You have to count each word. Hyphenated words, such as tete-a-tete, count as one word. Don’t use your word count tool to count the words, because that tool will count an ellipsis ( . . . ) as three words, which really should not be counted at all. It will also count dashes ( – ) as words, which is wrong. So count each word by sight, not by tool.

Our drabble contests have themes. For each contest, we will simply throw the theme out there. Whatever the theme inspires you to write, that’s what you write.

The theme of this contest is:

Space Station Duty-Free

This should be self-explanatory. What would people/aliens try to smuggle in? Or out?


Early Details On PitDark May 2023

Pitch Date: May 25th, 2023
Prizes: A book contract from a publisher; contracts vary between publishers. Generally royalties with the possibility of an advance.
Themes: Darker literature (horror, or other forms of fiction that are dark or are mixed genres.

Welcome to #PitDark, the only Twitter pitching contest for dark literature!

#PitDark is the first and only Twitter pitch event to highlight literature of a “darker” nature. Importantly, this is not limited to horror works; however, any pitched manuscript must contain an element of horror or darker writing. Examples of such categories include pure horror novels, dark fantasy, murder mysteries, psychological horror stories, non-fiction works about darker subjects, etc. MG, YA, NA, and adult age categories are welcome.

The next #PitDark will take place on May 25, 2023.

You can find the agents and publishers that participated in previous #PitDark events here.

Please follow the @PitDark_ Twitter account for up-to-date information about the event.

The Basics

The contest will happen on Twitter under a common hashtag (#PitDark). During a 12-hour window on the chosen day, authors with completed manuscripts who are seeking representation or publication can tweet a pitch for their books (at most, once per hour).

Agents and publishers will make requests by marking pitches as a like on Twitter. If your tweet is liked, please follow the agent or publisher’s submission guidelines.


Taking Submissions: Elegant Literature: Shadows & Knives

Deadline: April 30th, 2023
Payment: 10 cents per word
Theme: Shadows & Knives, and a crow
Note: There is ALSO a contest you can enter your work into instead of a magazine for a chance to win $3,000. However, it is pay to play on the contest.

Write a story involving Shadows & Knives, and a crow.
$3,000 grand prize.

Hurry down the street as night falls. Is that movement in the shadows? Don’t look back. Dark figures block your path, steel glinting. No time to think. Do you run, fight, or scream?

Murder is as old as time. The lights come on and someone’s dead. Everyone’s a suspect. The genius detective plays cat and mouse with a meticulous villain. Bodies, blackmail, and bloodstained letters. The cozy mystery is anything but for the victim. Prepare your alibi, avoid suspicion, and hope the trail of bodies leads back to the butler. The investigator has a secret, and the killer is working with the police. Conspiracies, confessions, and court intrigue. Assassins and bloody night raids—danger lurks in the dark. So accept the invitation, gather round the campfire, and hope the train doesn’t go through a tunnel. It’s a mystery, and we’re all gathered for the big reveal.

This contest invites you to explore shadows and knives, whatever that means to you. Fantasy, contemporary, romance, crime. All genres are welcome.

Submissions close April 30th at 11:59 pm EST. Contest only open to new writers


Contest: Tales to Terrify Flash Fiction Contest

Deadline: April 1st, 2023
First Prize: Audio version created and $50. Up to 4 runner ups for audio conversion as well.
Theme: Horror elements and relate to the theme of changing seasons

Our 2023 flash fiction contest is nearly here. This year, the theme is “Changing Seasons.” The contest is open from February 15th until midnight CST, April 1st.

Contest Rules

  • The story must have horror elements and relate to the theme of changing seasons. How you choose to interpret that theme is up to you, but it must be central to the story. Simply setting your tale during a change in seasons or having a tale take place across seasons is not adequate. It must play a crucial role in the development of the narrative.
  • The image included on this page is for interest purposes only and not intended as a prompt.
  • Deadline to submit is April 1, 2023 (11:59pm CST)
  • It must be previously unpublished.
  • Submissions must be in English, but authors from anywhere in the world are welcome to submit.
  • A minimum of ONE winner will be announced on or before June 1, 2023. The top flash piece will be produced for audio narration on Tales to Terrify and receive $50 (USD). Up to four runners up may also be considered for production.
  • Authors retain the rights to their submitted stories.